Falling deeply in love with 'an alien' on the Net

I fell in love on Facebook. She was 1,6m tall. Her face could launch a billion dollars worth of beauty products.

Punch in Ruvarashe Prisca Dube on Google. She'll pop up on Linkedin. You'll see what I mean.

She worked for Medi-Clinic as a doctor. She lived in a house on 93 School Road in Morningside. Her brother, DJ Manazz Manfred Dube, was gay. As kids the two of them fought over who would marry me. He would be so shocked, she added, when he discovered that we were in contact. He lived in Paris and worked as a wedding planner.

She introduced me to WhatsApp and sent me a picture of her exquisite face. Then we exchanged embarrassing intimate pictures to use as sexual aids. Even apart, we would need nobody but each other. She was doing a three-month course in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Hospitale Zum Heiligen to become a Specialist Physician. She was graduating in two days. The day after that she'd be back in Johannesburg. We would finally be together.

Then she got attacked and mugged walking back to her Frankfurt residence from a dinner. German skinheads had struck. She'd lost all her bank cards. She couldn't get to her money. Her passport could only be replaced in her home country, Zimbabwe, where her brother was miraculously visiting her mother and standing by to help but being broke.

If only she could get the money needed at the Zimbabwean home office to get her new passport released in time for her flight in two nights' time.

Could I help? I asked. No. She said. How could she ask that of a stranger. But then. what option did she have?

First the Zimbabwean home office needed US$250, then the South African embassy needed $180 to put her work visa on her passport, delaying the passport's release by a day. Now DHL needed $240 to express-deliver to Frankfurt in time for her flight. The Moneygram person at Standard Bank was amazed by my frantic runs in and out. Then the passport was held up because DJ Manazz Dube had not paid the lost passport fine of $400.

I said good luck my love. I hope you get sorted out in time for your flight.

She wasn't.

Medi-Clinic doesn't know who she is. The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where she says she studied, doesn't have her on record. She's not registered as a doctor in South Africa. There is no number 93 on School Road in Morningside.

When I confronted her on WhatsApp her Facebook page and DJManazz's disappeared. For all I know, given that this is a Internet relationship, she could be an alien.

I told her on WhatsApp that I'm hunting her down and that when I find her I'm off to jail. To this day, she swears she'll pay my money back.

The last time I felt this stupid was when I took a man home thinking he was a woman.

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